READ: “I was concerned that if I took my eyes away from my real life, I might miss something important. I simply couldn’t afford to be absent. I had to be watchful. Reading fiction had become like sleeping – fraught with risk, unsafe.” | “As for your photograph I weep when I look at it.” The man Jackie Onassis didn’t marry. | “Anxiety is feminine, irritatingly so, less respectable and more annoying than anger, less pitiable than fear, more selfish than depression.” | “People shake off delusions according to their own schedules, but for me it was childbearing that rid me of the mostly subconscious idea that my life would be lived on some trajectory of self-improvement.” / “… old age struck me like a brick in a sock.” | “I write this with a baseball bat by the bed.” | How to murder your life. | “[A] joke can be another kind of Big Lie, shrunk to look like a toy. It’s the thrill of hyperbole, of treating the extreme as normal, the shock (and the joy) of seeing the normal get violated, fast.” How jokes won the election. / Sinking giggling into the sea. | Considering the novel in the age of Obama. | Currently reading: the Kenneth Clark biography and rereading Simplicity Parenting.

LOOK: The Museum Workout. | The best French pharmacy products. | Inside Heidi Swanson’s fridge. | Three ingredient mac and cheese. | Chalet School rolls (serve with sweet, milky coffee). | The Guardian’s best one-pot recipes: part 1 and part 2 | Scrag end, squash and barley broth. | Every home should have a house meal. | Rice with yoghurt. | How to make soup. / Six lentil soups! / Alice Waters’s cure-all soup.

THINK: To Obama with love, and hate, and desperation. | This is why you don’t kiss the ring. | “On the one hand, the pre-war mind refuses the possibility of catastrophe; on the other, the war mind perceives everything as the signal that the end of the world is nigh. I trust my fears while struggling to ignore them.” / “Are you taking your pilot’s family, too?” Doomsday prep for the super-rich. | The ethical and linguistic challenge of translating Trump. | “[B]odies in the street represent only potential power, not actual power. Even the largest rally must sooner or later disassemble and return home. What happens after that?” A Republican strategist. | How children catch our social biases. | Brilliant idea: A school lawyer.